Social Savvy: How demographics influence your company’s social media presence - July 2022

By Sharon La Riviere

Back in 2003, when MySpace-the first social network that had a significant influence in the U.S.-launched, I was a few years out of college with my marketing degree and had no idea that this type of social platform would become so popular on a personal level, let alone for use in marketing a business. Looking back almost 20 years later, boy, have things changed! We now not only have multiple social networks to choose from to connect with our family and friends, but we also use them to follow brands that we like and to research companies we may want to do business with. Understanding who uses each platform is an important part of a successful online marketing strategy.

Social media is not just for the young; it spans all age groups and demographics. Because of this evolution, as a business owner and marketer, you need to understand how different age groups use and experience social media in order to spend your time and budget wisely. It’s not as simple as saying, “Old people use this; young people use that.” Researching this upfront and keeping a pulse on trends will influence which social networks your business will want to participate on to reach the customers you want to attract.

As of January 2022, there were almost four billion social media accounts in the U.S. across all networks, and the average person belongs to multiple platforms. They spend a whopping average of 95 minutes per day interacting on their various networks, which is the highest it’s ever been.

In general, Facebook is still the most-used social network amongst consumers, regardless of age. It remains a core network due to its wide variety of users and paid advertising opportunities, so it’s one to seriously consider utilizing for your company if your target audience is consumers.

Key Stats
• 180 million active monthly users in the U.S. (69% of all Americans have a Facebook account)
• Largest age group is 25 to 34 (31.5%)
• 81% of 18- to 29-year-olds use it, though they’re on many other networks, as well; Facebook is losing popularity among younger Americans, with many of them moving to TikTok and Snapchat
• 43% of users are female; 57% are male
• Users spend, on average, 33 minutes per day on Facebook
• Paid ads on the platform reach 64% of all Americans over age 13

Instagram has continued to grow in popularity over the last few years, reaching over 222 million active monthly users in the U.S. as of 2022. The network has evolved from a highly image-focused content platform to a more video-based one with the use of reels that allow it to compete with TikTok and YouTube.

Key Stats
• Number of users doubled in three years
• Largest age group is 25 to 34 (31%), followed by 18 to 24 (31%); Millennials and Gen Zers make up almost two-thirds of users
• 48% of users are female; 52% are male
• Users spend, on average, 29 minutes per day on Instagram
• Engagement rates are approximately more than six times higher than on Facebook (0.83% versus 0.13%)
• 44% of users shop for products/services on the platform weekly-you want them to find you

LinkedIn is the number one social network to connect with other professionals (B2B) through groups and private conversations, and also a great place to network for a new job. When using the network as a business, it can help showcase your company as a great place to work, as well as demonstrate your expertise in the industry through thought-leader posts.

Key Stats
• 180 million active monthly users in the U.S.
• Largest age group is 25 to 34 (58%); Millennials are highly active on the network
• 48% of users are female; 52% are male
• 51% of users are college-educated
• 63% of users log on weekly and 22% daily

Twitter has primarily been used to discuss breaking news, politics and events, and to have short back-and-forth conversations with brands. The network is in a state of flux with the recent buyout move by Elon Musk; therefore, it’s a platform to continue to watch to see what changes may come.

Key Stats
• 81 million active monthly users in the U.S.
• Largest age group is 18 to 29 (42%)
• 38% of users are female; 61% are male
• Users spend an average of 31 minutes per day on Twitter
• One third of users are college-educated and make $75,000-plus annually

While you don’t hear of this network as often as others, its users are some of the most engaged. Pinterest makes it easy to research and purchase products, making it a perfect network to advertise on if you sell online to consumers. It’s the most product-focused social network of them all, and users have money to spend-45% have a household income of $100,000-plus.

Key Stats
• 90 million active monthly users in the U.S.
• Largest age group is 50 to 64 (38%), though all age groups are fairly evenly represented
• 78% of users are female; 22% are male, though that audience began growing in 2021
• Users spend an average of 14 minutes per day on Pinterest
• Nearly 70% of users say they trust Pinterest, and it’s their favorite place to research products

With video content consumption growing exponentially, YouTube is not going away. It’s a great platform for both longer-format video content and shorter content following the platform’s introduction of “Shorts” in early 2021. It’s still primarily used for entertaining and educational how-to videos, something to keep in mind when determining what video content to share.

Key Stats
• 240 million active monthly users in the U.S.
• Largest age group is 15 to 35 (highest reach)
• 46% of users are female; 54% are male
• Users spend an average of 30 minutes per day on YouTube, with 62% of users logging on daily
• Ad revenue increased 43% from 2020 to 2021, making it a network to consider if you have a paid social budget

• Over 65: Facebook (50%), YouTube (49%), Pinterest (18%)
• 50 to 64: YouTube (83%), Facebook (73%), Pinterest (38%)
• 30 to 49: YouTube (91%), Facebook (77%), Instagram (48%)
• 18 to 29: YouTube (95%), Instagram (71%), Facebook (70%)
Source: Pew Research Center

1. Determine which age group(s) you want to market to and which social networks are most popular with them.
2. If you are already using social media, review the demographic data that is provided in your insights/analytics to see who makes up your current followers. This will help you figure out if you’re on the right networks for the audience(s) you want to reach.
3. Develop content that will resonate with them, which means figuring out which formats (short-/long-format video, imagery, etc.), content topics, trends and messaging work best. This may involve additional research you can do online or through internal research where you ask your customers directly.
4. Publish the content to your network(s). I suggest creating several posts over a monthlong period using different types of content formats and topics.
5. Track your metrics to see the engagement (likes, comments, shares) you get. This will be critical in helping to determine if what you are posting is getting the response you want.
6. Analyze what you’ve learned from these metrics and repeat or revise your content strategy.

future consumers
While Millennials (18 to 24) and Gen Zers (teenagers) may not be your target customers now, they will become so in the future, so it’s important to keep an eye on which social networks are popular with them so you can plan for future marketing needs. Currently, the hot social networks include TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube.

TikTok: Younger consumers (10 to 19) are prevalent on this newer network; however, it’s seeing rapid growth with slightly older age groups as well. There are 80 million active monthly users in the U.S. who spend an average of 90 minutes a day on TikTok. Nearly 40% of Gen Zers says they’re directly influenced by products they see, so with the potential of this network expanding into other age brackets, it’s a platform for marketers to pay attention to.

Snapchat: While no longer the trendiest network, Snapchat is still huge-it has 108 million active monthly users in the U.S.-especially with the younger demographic (15 to 25). For marketers, it’s a great place to watch and learn what younger consumers want.

Regardless of age, one thing is for certain: with so many people using social media across all age groups, it’s unlikely that it is going anywhere. But as recent data shows, social media preferences aren’t uniform or static, meaning you must continuously monitor and research them in order to expand your reach to the customers you want to attract, both now and in the future.

Copyright 2022 Floor Focus 

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